Last week I spent my time on the road. I have always loved the excitement of a road trip with the potential for something new around every corner. That was especially true on this trip because I was hitting part of the East Coast of the U.S. that I had never been to. I had lived in Boston for awhile so was familiar with that area including Rhode Island, Cape Cod and the lovely Nantucket. But my adventures had never taken me to Maine or New Hampshire.
My husband and I packed up the car, dropped the kids off at camp and loosely planned a week discovering these areas before we then headed further south for some beach time in North Carolina. And all of this kid free!
As a somewhat experienced and impassioned road tripper I have learned a thing or two about the unique benefits of this kind of adventure. Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Road Trip:
#5 The Open Road
Now, this only applies to less populated areas (our drive through The Bronx in rush hour was a nail biting and extremely stressful part of the trip that I would not recommend). When you are sailing through the winding roads of Vermont or the rolling mountains of Virginia you will experience places and scenery that will blow your mind. And this you would never see from 30,000 feet.
*The open road is beautiful no matter what but this time my husband and I took to the road in a convertible Camaro. Awesome!
Just the two of us on the road in our Camaro convertible.
This may not be on the top of everyone's list but in the busy, craziness of everyday life having a time out where it is just you and your significant other for hours on end can offer valuable catch up time. With the whole family I think this still would have made my list. We have done a few road trips with the kids and between games, technology and shorter days on the road we have benefitted from the same thing. As our kids get a little older and spend less time at home and with us, the time on the road creates opportunity for some great conversation.
#3 The Food
Ahhh, yes. The food. The great thing about traveling to a number of different destinations is the opportunity to experience a variety of different local fare. Here were my top culinary experiences from this recent trip:
- Breakfast at The Cape Arundel Inn in Kennebunkport. The homemade granola and veggie frittata were a perfect way to start our day.
- The Red Fox Combo at the local Red Fox Pub in Jackson, N.H. would satisfy any meat lovers fantasy. Add the locally brewed Woodstock Inn White Mountain Raspberry Weasel Wheat beer to the mix and it is as close as you will get to BBQ perfection.
- Portsmouth, N.H. has a long history of beer making and where better to test out the local offerings than at the local brewery. The Portsmouth Brewery is much more than a beer house, though, having a full menu and one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. Try out the beer sampler to get a taste of everything and nibble on perfectly portioned bites from their new Bar & Snack Menu.
- And to top it all off? The BEST meal I have ever had in my life -EVER- was at the perfectly quaint and centrally situated Ristorante Massimo in beautiful downtown Portsmouth. This spot was perfection with a formal yet welcoming ambiance and a charm that is 100% Italian. Every morsel was divine but if you make your way to this hidden gem you must have the Tiramisu. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Me with the lovely Massimo at the divine Ristorante Massimo in Portsmouth, N.H.
#2 Variety is the Spice of Life
On this most recent trip my husband and I stayed in the seaport town of Kennebunkport at the lovely and peaceful Cape Arundel Inn. We lay in our bed gazing out at the ocean dozing off to the sound of the waves lapping against the shore after riding our bikes into the cute port town for an ice cream and a stroll.
Our seaside room at the peaceful Cape Arundel Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine.
We then found ourselves deep in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the The Lodge at Jackson Village where we hiked through covered bridges and woods to splash in the picturesque Jackson Falls before riding the world's first cog railway to the top of Mt. Washington experiencing breathtaking views and the treacherous Jacob's Ladder.
Traveling up Mt. Washinton on the world's oldest cog railway with the treacherous Jacob's Ladder coming up!
The classic covered bridge in the White Mountain village of Jackson, N.H.
We then journeyed on to the historically rich town of Portsmouth, NH which became one of our favourite destinations where we travelled back in time to the days of The Music Hall which is being restored back to its original glory and grand hotels on a visit to the Wentworth Hotel's Latitudes Restaurant overlooking the ocean. We had worked up quite an appetite on a kayak tour of The Little Harbour area through Portsmouth Kayak Adventures where we experienced New England's natural beauty and fascinating history of this picturesque area.
Kayaking with Portsmouth Kayak Adventures with the historic Strawberry Banke district in the background.
Traveling to a resort or to a single destination can be wonderful but it can also leave you few options if you aren't thrilled with the spot or you get restless. The ultimate advantage of a road trip is your freedom to move on, change locations, extend your stay, explore local haunts while having the option of venturing further afield.
Many of the stops we made would not be a week long holiday destination so if we weren't out on the open road we would have never had a chance to experience them. This gives us a taste of so many special places but never too much of a good thing!
On this trip alone we experienced the relaxing seaside in Kennebunkport, the breathtaking mountain views of The White Mountains, and the bustling, historical port town of Portsmouth all before we even made it down to North Carolina (more to come on this stop).
This trip had it all!